Tips from a Young Entrepreneur

We had a chat with Ben Gateley about his experience of starting a business and to hear his tips as a young entrepreneur. Ben started his first business whilst he was at school. He went on to study Biomedical Science at St George’s University, London whilst still running his business.

Ben is Co-Founder of The Eleven (established in 2005), which has now developed into a startup studio that turns big ideas into brilliant businesses. Whilst running The Eleven, he later co-founded and became COO of CharlieHR – a free HR platform for small businesses.

What would you tell young entrepreneurs?

Starting a business when you’re young can be lower risk; you have less to lose than when you have have a house and family.   So while you’re young, now is the time to take that risk.  It might not work out, but it can bring you closer to a bigger, better opportunity.

Passion & ambition are key. Aim high! young boss

Always keep learning – none of us are the perfect finished package. Creating a business is a constant evolution.  That’s what keeps it interesting and fun.

What do you look for in an employee?

Attitude. If someone has a great attitude, you can do anything with them. They can achieve whatever they want to achieve.

You can teach skills, most of the time.

We have a guy in the office who had never done any development 6 months ago.  Now he’s a successful developer building all sorts. We gave him the opportunity and he’s been able to achieve great things, because he’s got the right attitude, not because he had the necessary skills.

What’s important in business?

I really value time above all else.  I’m constantly looking to create efficiencies, trying to extract maximum value out of what time I have available. Even on my commute I’ll do emails, listen to podcasts, read a relevant article.

I think it’s vital to stimulate your mind on things outside work, because it keeps you fresh  – I love music, art, theatre, I’m interested in travel and culture,  and I’m obsessed with coffee!

Most important…do something that makes you happy 🙂  Life’s too short!

Thank you Ben!



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